David Cameron’s campaign to prevent the election of Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the European Commission was a piece of sound and fury, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe. His defeat would seem, on the surface, conclusive — except when considered as a work of domestic politicking. An excerpt of Manthorpe’s column:
The humiliating defeat of British Prime Minister David Cameron in the election for the European Union’s top bureaucrat is probably the best thing that could have happened to him.
Cameron took a calculated risk in the fallout from May’s elections for members of the European Parliament, in which right wing anti-EU parties including the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) made unprecedented gains.
The results made Cameron’s credibility look threadbare, especially his pledge to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s membership of the EU. Cameron wants to grab back powers over national policy-making and legislation that have been handed over to Brussels. His plan is to put the results to a clear yes or no referendum in Britain in 2017, after the next general election, due in May next year.
But recent local and European elections in Britain show that a gathering tide of voters, both Conservatives and supporters of the opposition New Labour party, are so fed up with the intrusive nannyism of Brussels … read more (subscription required*)
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